December 29, 2019
As you all already know, if the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants this evening, the Birds will win the NFC East, and they'll be the 4 seed in the NFC bracket of the NFL playoffs.
While their own game is obviously of monumental importance and everything else is secondary, the Eagles could stand to benefit from other games around the NFL. So let's take a look at those, with ideal winners in bold.
• Washington at Cowboys: Should the Eagles lose to the Giants, they'll need the Cowboys to lose to Washington in order to still (undeservedly) win the division. The Eagles, of course, plan on making this game not matter.
• 49ers at Seahawks: The loser of this game will face the winner of the NFC East in the first round of the playoffs. While there is certainly a decent argument for facing a playoff neophyte quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, the Seahawks are the much weaker team at this point in the season, in my opinion. Yes, they have Russell Wilson, but they are also missing their two best offensive linemen and their top three running backs.
If the Niners win this game, they clinch both a first-round bye, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
• Packers at Lions: If the Packers win this game, they clinch at least a first-round bye. Should the Niners and Packers both win their Week 17 games. they will be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Should the Eagles win the division and then advance past the wildcard round, they will either play the aforementioned playoff neophyte in Garoppolo or a Packers team they already beat on the road this year.
Also, a Lions loss keeps the Giants behind Detroit in the draft order, ensuring that the Giants won't be in a position to draft Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young.
• Saints at Panthers: A loss by the Saints doesn't necessarily mean that they can't get a first-round bye, but it doesn't help, clearly. They are probably the best team in the NFC right now (and also a pretty despicable franchise), so it's best if they don't get a first-round bye.
• Draft positioning, in the event a doomsday scenario occurs: Should the Eagles lose to the Giants, all hell will break loose in Philly, but when the dust settles it will be ideal if the 7-8 teams (Dallas excluded) win their games. A look at the draft order, via Tankathon:
It's ideal if the Raiders beat the Broncos, the Colts beat the Jaguars, the Buccaneers beat the Falcons, and the Bears beat the Vikings.
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